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Apr 23, 2012 09:06 AM

Non-packaged zha cai in San Francisco? (Ideally Richmond or Sunset)

Well honestly, ideally it would be in the Mission, but I'm mostly trying to avoid going to Chinatown. I used to buy unpackaged zha cai ( out of a cardboard box at New May Wah. I've also seen it before at the Chinese market on the corner of 23rd and Irving. Neither place has this item any more. You can buy it in sealed plastic, but not loose. The packaged ones just don't taste as good to me.

I've been relying on my mom to shuttle this ingredient over from Oakland Chinatown, but hoping to find it in the city somewhere. Somewhere not in Chinatown. Anyone seen it?

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  1. I think I've seen it in bulk in the back refrigerator at Manila Oriental Market, though I'm not 100% certain. Next time I'm there, will take a look.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bigwheel042

      Intriguing. Could be a perfect excuse for me to check that market out. I've never been, but I'm curious.

      1. re: possumspice

        Truth be told I'm rather surprised to hear that New May Wah no longer carries it in bulk, rather than it just being temporarily out of stock. I believe I bought some in bulk there about 6 months ago. Sunset Super is probably also worth a look.

        1. re: bigwheel042

          I shop there about once every 2-3 weeks and I've looked for it the last...oh, six times I went? The first time I noticed it missing, they still had some other bulk preserved vegetables nearby, so I would have believed the out of stock explanation. However, this last time, there were no bulk preserved veggies to be found anywhere. I swear I've never seen these at Sunset Super, but I'll look next time I'm there.

    2. Old thread, but I can confirm that Manila Oriental Market does have this in a bulk bin in the back refrigerator. Obviously, can't confirm how it's packaged *before* it gets to the bulk bin, but I don't see any reason to think the pickles had been individually plastic-wrapped before they made it to the refrigerator.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bigwheel042

        Ooh, thanks for verifying. I ended up getting some in Oakland Chinatown, but I'm running low again. :)